Belle Refresh starts to roll out for many Symbian^3 smartphones

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Available now for my Nokia N8 (screenshots below) and E7 Communicator, and rolling out around the world for various other product codes over the next few weeks, is Belle Refresh, characterised by firmware version The main improvements for this Symbian release are more widgets, a Music player refresh, plus updates to other core components, including Web and Qt, and fixes for various issues, including the longstanding Flash video playback problem.

Belle Refresh is essentially all the parts of Belle FP1 that were appropriate for the older hardware. Here's the changelog from vanilla Belle:

  • Web browser is now v8.3.1.4 (was in Belle) and has better HTML5 support
  • More clock widgets (digital clock lookalike)
  • Other useful widgets: Calendar Agenda viewRSS Widget, BookmarkMusic player Medium size, Weather nowWeather forecast, My locationFacebook, Mobile Data Counter
  • Notes widget, for quick access to notes and to create a new one.
  • Facelift (of playback controls) and functionality for Music player (split of Albums and Artists at last, implemented with tabbed interface, plus warnings of hearing loss when listening with headphones at high volume) - v17.1.14 (was 17.0.16 in Belle)
  • Maps Suite 3.9 built-in (for the full firmware image via Nokia Suite)
  • Qt 4.8.0 now built-in 
  • (for N8 only) Big Screen now built-in
  • (for N8 only) DLNA play now built-in
  • (for N8 only and only via Nokia Suite full flash) ColorizIt utility built-in
  • Numerous assorted fixes and optimisations, including Flash video support - high bitrate videos and content are now handled fine, without crashes

Screenshot, Belle RefreshScreenshot, Belle Refresh

Accepting the over the air update... the 13MB update takes around five minutes to install.

Screenshot, Belle RefreshScreenshot, Belle Refresh

Some of the new widgets: two new styles of clock and Notes.

Screenshot, Belle RefreshScreenshot, Belle Refresh

The Music player refresh: split of tracks into different tabs, including 'Artists' - and a facelifted player.

Very cool to see this arriving as promised by Nokia/Accenture. As ever, the death of Symbian has been greatly exagerated. It's particularly impressive to see devices as old as the 2010 N8 still getting major updates almost two years after initial availability.

Please don't comment just to say that Belle Refresh hasn't hit your N8 or E7 or C7 (etc.) - this is a roll out and will take a few weeks as more and more product codes get added by Nokia and Accenture! David's N8 couldn't see the update yet, for example, while both my Symbian^3 devices were offered.

As ever, you can check by using *#0000# in your dialler and then using the menu, or by plugging the phone into Nokia Suite and seeing what gets offered there.


Nokia Discussions has also posted a briefer changelog of the Nokia Belle Refresh which reads:

great news! We just started to roll out our next update for Symbian called Nokia Belle Refresh for Nokia N8, Nokia E7, Nokia C7, Nokia C6-01, Nokia X7 and Nokia Oro with version number 111.040.1511 (Nokia E6, version number 111.140.0058, will follow still this week, Nokia 500 updates will start to be launched within the next few weeks).

This update again brings new features to Symbian smartphones, for example:

  • a new browser with HTML5 web apps support, a new set of homescreen widgets, and the previously released Microsoft Office Mobile App and Nokia Maps Suite 2.0 in one package.
  • Nokia N8 will have some extra apps for imaging

The update will be rolled out in phases, starting with the vanilla versions (ie. basic software variants without any specific operator or country configuration). Country and operator variants will follow within the next weeks, depending on local and operator approvals.

PS: Just like after updating from Nokia Anna to Nokia Belle, some apps may not work due to compatibility issues. If you need more information on available apps, please contact your local Nokia Care support. Furthermore, you can also contact the respective App developer to enquire about the compatibility.



Belle Refresh on the N8